Is Levo making me sicker?

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Hi all,

My doctor recently diagnosed me with Hashimoto's from a positive thyroid peroxidase antibody test (levels not checked, just that they were there). My TSH, FT3 and FT4 are all well within normal ranges but she thought I should have a trial run of 25mcg levothyroxine as I have a family history of hypothyroid and my symptoms were really affecting my life - mainly fatigue, depression and lack of motivation.

I've been on it for two and a half weeks now and these haven't improved at all, and the last week I've had some new symptoms. I have had a few periods of terrible anxiety, I experience a kind of breathlessness which feels like I can't take in enough air several times a day which is not correlated with exercise, and my heart beats very fast and hard for no apparent reason for up to a few minutes a couple of times a day. I have also had one incidence of what I think was supra ventricular tachycardia, which is when your heart beats hard and fast and then suddenly returns to normal - apparently this can happen in healthy hearts sometimes but it would be a strange coincidence.

I'm worried these could be hyper symptoms, but if they are why am I still experiencing the fatigue and depression? Was my doctor wrong to put me on Levo, even 25mcg? Should I stop taking it?

Thank you.

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Alice,

          I can't answer if your doctor was right for putting you on levo for you, because I'm new to Hashimoto's also...  so I'm still learning myself.  But I can tell you that I also get SVT's and have had all the test done to make sure my heart is healthy and everything came back great.  So..  yes, your heart can be healthy and still have SVT's.   For me..  my trigger that can cause an SVT episode to happen is when I get anxiety or stressed out.  Being you said that you have been having episodes of anxiety, that may be possibitity for you also.  I have also heard of people who's triggers were simple things such as bending over or excersing, among others that I'm not too familiar with.  Anxiety, palpitations, tremors, jitters, feeling warm, moist skin and faster heart rate can be signs of too high of a dose.  So, I'd imagine it is a possibility the levo is a trigger for your SVT's.  That's about all I can help you with right now, but I am positive someone else will come by and answer some more of your questions...  good luck Alice!

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  • Posted

    Hello Alice:

    My name is Shelly and I am a nurse in the USA.  I have had Hashimoto's disease since 1987.  I am 54 now was 27 when diagnosed.

    Hashimoto's is an autoimmne disease that is passed on and can skip a gneration. My Aunt had it and my sister and I have it.

    The TPOA antibodies are normally near zero in the blood and for some reason they come out during 20-45 years old and they attack the gland SLOWLY, over years, later it does not work and it can cause Hypothyroidism in the end.

    This disease is sneaky and  has periods of swings to almost HYPER (too much) thyroid hormone and then HYPO (too little).

    It causes weird symptoms like, the flu, tired/fatigue & muscles ache and then it causes the regular Hypo symptoms like Feeling cold, feeling depressed and hair loss, weight gain, no periods or late ones,Brain foggy, acne, brittle nails, bruising, low heart rate and low temp.  There are more and these are common ones.

    Since it can swing back and forth, you can also have HYPER symptoms like palpitations and even Afib (atrial fibrillation), an out of sync beat. Instead of LUB DUB, it goes LUB LUB  DUB.

    The Levo is synthetic T4 a needed hormone and 25mcg is a starting dose.  the idea is helping the thyroid from getting worse and getting bad symptoms.

    It is to help keep the strain off the thyroid by giving you a needed hormone.  Now T4  LEVO can raise T4 levels in the body, but you said your levels are okay.

    It takes 6 to 8 weeks to build a proper level.  We all wish it was faster and in our fast paced world we want it now!   The body is slow, this can take a while for the bad symptoms to go away...and they will need to test the blood in a few months again, and see how it is doing in you. Levo starts at 25mcg and it is a low dose.

    You can ask maybe to see a cardiologist and have it looked at.  EKG's are often done to make sure you are okay. I would ask to see the cardiologist.

    DO NOT STOP TAKING IT, and please take it about an hour before meals.  It will be blocked by food.  If you prefer you can take it at bedtime!   It is an important hormone and without it, the disease gets worse and you could get a goiter.

    Any questions feel free to ask, I do not mind you can Private message me, or leave a reply here.

    Regards,

    Shelly

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  • Posted

    Thank you both for replying. It's reassuring to hear that about the SVT, even though I wasn't too worried it's always scary when your heart does something unusual, so thank you Melissa.

    Shelly, I had heard that about the hyper/hypo symptoms with Hashimoto's but what strikes me is that these have begun shortly after beginning the levo and I haven't had them before. Is it just that it's combining with the times when I'm hyper anyway and making the symptoms worse? I would ask my GP these questions if I was able to get an appointment!

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    • Posted

      Hello Alice:

      If LEVO is making you feel worse, there are other thyroid meds on the market.

      Thyrolar (Liotrix) is a combo of T3 and T4 and may make it better for you and another one is Thyroid S from Thailand and Armour Thyroid avail. online. The last 2 meds are natural and made from a pig's gland, which is similar to a human's gland.  Then there is cytomel (Liothyronine) which is only T3.

      In some of us with Hashimoto's we can have a hard time making T4 (levo) convert into T3 (liothyronine). Doc's in the UK are not in favor of the natural ones since they are off patent.  They are fine meds, but not in the NHS formulary I hear.  However they are avail. online and a few ladies on the forum use them and feel much better.

      Of course you could lower the dose by cutting the pill in half and seeing if that helps.  25mcg is a low dose as I said before.   If you are having adverse symptoms with your heart, then you could stop it and just tell the doctor when you see him next.

      Stay well,

      Shelly

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